Thirty-Three year-old Darnell Dockett played eleven seasons with the Arizona Cardinals, and on Friday, the veteran Defensive End became yet another casualty of the NFL Salary Cap. Dockett tore his ACL during training camp, and sat out the entire 2014 season. He has vowed on Twitter, to become the 2015 Comeback Player of the Year.
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During his eleven seasons in Arizona, the third-round pick in the 2004 NFL Draft out of Florida State, played in 164 games, and amassed 462 tackles, 41 sacks, and four interceptions. He earned a Pro Bowl selection three times.
His release saves the Cardinals $6.8 million in cap space with free agency starting in less than two weeks. He was scheduled to earn $6.8 million this season with a $9.8 million cap hit.
Cardinal General Manager, Steve Keim said in a statement on Friday:
"“We have been very clear about our feelings for Darnell and our desire to have him back,”“After speaking with him and his representatives, we decided that this move today makes the most sense for both the team and the player and allows each to keep all of its options open.”"
Dockett has been actively updating his status on Twitter during his rehab, and it didn’t sound like he was sold on the situation.
I think Darnell Dockett is a player that the Tennessee Titans need to take a hard look at during the Free Agency period, and here is my thinking.
The one thing we know about Dick LeBeau’s 3-4 defensive scheme, is it’s complicated, and as we saw in 2014, just how complicated.
In order to fully implement his defense, it not only requires young talent with the right tools, but it also needs veterans of the scheme be there to teach the youngsters how it works.
This is why Dick LeBeau, and Defensive Coordinator Ray Horton need to bring in some aging veterans who understand the system, and be willing to pass along their knowledge base to young players who will be coming via the Draft.
If Darnell Dockett has anything left in the tank, he would be an excellent pick-up during free agency. Head Coach, Ken Whisenhunt, and Ray Horton have worked with him during their tenure’s in Tempe, and could bring that much-needed knowledge base to Music City.
Aging veterans like Dockett, would be a great asset for the Titans, if they can be brought in at the right price They can give us a few good years, pass along what they know, and not break the bank.
It sounds like a win-win situation for everyone involved.